Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wake Me Up When It's Time To Go Home Pt 4

It wasn't good for his health. He knew that much. The sea air was meant to do you good but it didn't help that he was sitting in terror staring out at the horizon as it wobbled gently in the afternoon haze. The seaside cottage he had rented from Mike at work had seemed perfect to him. 'Rustic Charm' was the phrase he had used. Loads of character he said, with a slightly smug air that only now seemed significant. On arriving at the cottage he found himself pleasantly surprised. He had expected a damp, delapidated old dump and had booked in at a B&B in the nearby town as a precaution for such an eventuality. What he found was a handsome whitewashed little house with flowers in the windows and a sparse but clean interior. He decided there and then to call on to the hotel and cancel the room. 'Nice one Mike' was his first clear thought on the matter. All had been fine until he was awoken at about 3am by what sounded like someone shuffling around in oversized slippers. He lay paralysed and stared into the pitch black depths of the room trying to fathom just what it was he was hearing. The noise remained remote, at the other end of the spacious bedroom. He eventually found his voice and called out. 'Hello!' he croaked weakly. The movement ceased almost instantly. When no answer was forthcoming he remained silent fearing he had annoyed the entity pacing about his room. His eyes had started to adjust somewhat to the darkness and he began to make out shapes and forms. None of them seemed to move. He saw the outline of the wardrobe, the coat stand, the chest of drawers, the old bicycle that incongruously rested against the far wall. He was starting to regain the feeling in his body and maybe a little courage and slowly, silently reached for the bedside lamp. He was facing the direction of the door as he pressed the switch. The room illuminated and in the first few seconds he saw directly in front of him all the items he had picked out in the darkness. He also saw something that terrified him beyond words. A small greyhaired, nightshirted figure of indeterminate age and gender stood midway between the bed and the door. Above the midget was a disembodied head covered in a shock of coal black hair. The midget started to turn it's head towards him. The floating head did too. The midget had no face which was terrifying enough. Unfortunately, the head did and his heart stopped for what seemed like an eternity. The glowing eyes and the clown like rictus locked onto him and seemed to dare him to make the next move. He did. His hand was still on the light switch and somewhere along the line his terror addled brain sent out a message to his hand to turn the bloody light back off. The eyes glowed at him in the darkness for another twenty seconds or so before fading. He closed his eyes. The visions returned, images scorched indelibly into his mind. It was preferable to keeping them open though and risk seeing those cold, evil eyes rear out of the darkness again. He sat at the window He had pretty much chain smoked the packet of cigarettes that had been ensconsed at the bottom of his holdall. The coffee he had drunk had wired him up to such a degree that he was feeling sick and rather faint. He hadn't eaten since the night before.He had been up since about six thirty am, having given up on sleep once daylight had started to fill the bedroom. By that time he was on his third nightmare involving 'the face' and really had no desire to ever close his eyes again. That he was able to clearly demarcate the difference between the original experience and the ever distorting dreams he subsequently had only convinced him more that what he had seen was real. As the day wore on he started to rationalise things. He knew he would never return to the bedroom, that he would gather his things from it and sleep in the living room with the TV and the light on. Not ideal, but he was damned if he was going to give up his time off because of some phantasmogrical vision he had in the middle of the night. He remembered a book he had read debunking ghost sightings. Apparently at least a quarter of such encounters were the result of sensory deprivation. It made sense. His half awake brain had gone to town in the imagination department whilst he sat in the darkness and when he turned the light on he caught a brief glimpse of whatever it was his subconscious had been brewing up. Or something. He wished he had the book with him, if only to use as a sort of intellectual security blanket. As the evening wore on, he became more and more relaxed, his appetite returned and he devoured the frozen pizza he had found in the back of the freezer. A few leisurely drams rounded out the night and he got ready to go to sleep in front of a late night phone-in quiz. He dozed and awoke after what seemed like five minutes. The tv was off and the lights were out. Except they weren't. The tv was burbling away from another room and he could see the light from the hallway underneath the door. He was back in the bedroom. The shuffling had started, but it was getting closer and closer. A low whine started to build and the face from the night before descended from the ceiling. The shuffling stopped next to him and he felt a hand on his throat, clasping gently. The whine turned into a gutteral scream as the head, as real as anything belonging to a living being floated all of six inches from his own face. Blackness consumed him and he woke in the living room, again, seemingly only a few minutes after his ordeal. It was 5 am and the first light was beginning to filter through the curtains. His belongings were already in the living room, so it seemed almost churlish and foolhardy not to take heed of the nights events and get the hell out of the house. 'That Bastard Mike' he thought as he got into his car. On hindsight, he was just the sort of malevolent little shit that would send a mate to stay for a week in a haunted house. He toyed with the idea of calling up the B&B again and staying there for the rest of the week. He quickly dismissed it though. He knew he would probably never sleep again, the last thing he needed was to pay through the nose for the priviledge......................

4 comments:

ill man said...

..............and if anyone moans about the ending(or the middle, or the beginning)or the standard of writing in general they should bear in mind the fact that I don't really give a toss.

If you want our hero to fall off a cliff in blind panic or die of a heart attack call..............etc

I like the idea of him getting back in his car and driving home a little bit miffed.

Cheers.

Rob7534 said...

I liked the ending too. Although I wish he had stayed longer in the haunted house!

Billy said...

Hurrah, it's back!

And I liked the ending.

ill man said...

Cheers. It lacks the spontaneity of the other three pieces. A little overdone and contrived.